I’ve had my On-one Inbred frame sitting around my garage for about a year now. It’s the old style, pre – 456 geared frame in classic white and I’ve built it up into a nice utilitarian bike that I intended to use over the winter months in preference to my Marin Rift Zone.
However, for a number of reasons, chief among them cost, it hasn’t really seen too much use so far. This is because I like to have a bike computer to see how far I’ve been and at what speed and I just haven’t been able to find funds to buy one so far. Added to which the brakes I’m running need bleeding, the forks need a good service and I’d like to get a new saddle too.
As you can see from my comments above, its far from what I would consider an ideal spec. Details are below but in brief I’m running a 2004 Marzocchi Marathon coil fork, full 2005 Shimano LX groupset, Hope headset, Thomson seat post and Easton EA50 bars. Brakes are old skool Hope Minis (no Mono madness here) and the wheels are my original lightweight no-brand hubs on Mavic 221 rims from my Rift Zone, with Continental Vertical tyres. All in all, the combination of narrow XC rims and chunky rubber makes things a bit squirmy at times.
I have plans to upgrade certain bits of the spec over time but things really just need a bit of careful tweaking and servicing. Despite all this, I am finally starting to put some miles on the (still non-existant) clock.
Probably this isn’t the ideal time to be doing this as I’m coming from a supple full sus bike to a hardtail frame just as the trails turn bone-hard for the summer, which goes to confirm that Mountain Bikers are not ruled by a Spock-like streak of logic. Riding the Inbred has proved a refreshing challenge though as my forks are not offering much more than half their claimed 105mm of travel. The front end, combined with the wiggly wheels has shown a distinct reluctance to turn at times but I’m learning to enjoy myself all the same.
A couple of descents down through the Denbies vinyard near Dorking have proved to be great fun and I’ve still felt confident enough in the frame, despite the wayward front, to pick an adventurous line through the trees.
Last weekend I took the bike with me over to Holmbury Hill and explored trails I hadn’t ridden for quite a few months. Hooning down Barry Knows Best I found myself catching Mark quite comfortably and even overtook him by hopping over one of the log drops. It really is the perfect frame for general trail riding with plenty of room in the cockpit to stretch out but a weight forward stance for fun and games.
Nonetheless, my lack of familiarity with hardtails after so long on the Rift Zone caught me out eventually. I found myself getting very tired toward the end which probably contributed to a lack of concentration pushing me into one hoon too many. Launching myself down the final run of the day I flew into a series of roller coaster dips and found myself well and truly out of shape on the last one with my weight forward and the fork compressing (finally to its full travel) right in the trough of the dip. This catapulted me with the inevitability of planetary motion up the other side with the Inbred anywhere but where it should be. Or was it that the rider wasn’t where he should be? Anyway, we differed, relative to each other!
In conclusion, I’d say if you get the chance of owning an Inbred then most certainly do so. Dave is a convert to 456 robustness but I find I quite like the liveliness of the original frame. It handles well with 100mm forks which seems a reasonable amount of everyday travel, has a lovely compact shape with plenty of room to stretch out and the steel only rusts a little if it gets wet. Treat it well, take the time to acclimatise and I reckon it is the perfect low maintenance trail companion.
Oh and in case you were wondering about the title, it’s a reference I think to an intro/story to a Bruce Springsteen song. I can’t remember exactly what, when or where but it certainly reflects how I feel riding a hardtail. Anyone with more details, stick it in the comments.
|Frame||2005 On-One Inbred 16″||Headset||Hope (gunmetal)|
|Forks||2004 Marzocchi Marathon coil||Bars||Easton EA50 2″ silver|
|Front mech||Shimano Deore LX||Stem||Easton EA50 90mm|
|Rear mech||Shimano Deore LX||Seatpost||Thomson Elite|
|Shifters||Shimano Deore LX||Saddle||WTB Speed V Sport|
|Front brake||Hope Mini||Pedals||WTB 310|
|Rear brake||Hope Mini||Rims||Mavic 221|
|Cassette||SRAM PG950||Rear Shock||N/A|
|Chainset||Shimano Deore LX Hollotech II||Tyres||Continental Vertical 2.3|